IT leaders come face to face with dozens of different challenges on a daily basis. From protecting critical business data from attackers to finding and retaining the best talent, saving employees from work related stress and employee burnout to leading digital transformation initiatives.
That’s not all, they have to negotiate with and convince different stakeholders from third party vendors when buying dedicated server reviews or dedicated servers amsterdam to board members. The list goes on and on. So, how can a new IT leader deal with all these challenges? CIOs need to have a specialized skill set in order to overcome all these challenges. What skills do they actually need to thrive? That is exactly what we will discuss in this article.
In this article, you will learn about seven unique skills every IT leader needs to succeed at their job.
7 Skills CIOs Need To Succeed At Their Job
Here are seven skills IT leaders need to thrive in today’s dynamic IT world.
- Building Trust
Gone are the days when technology leaders were kept away from high level business meetings. Today, they are especially invited to board meetings to give their input on how to drive business growth. IT leaders need to grab such opportunities with both hands and look at it as a chance to cement their authority as well as an opportunity to build trust with other stakeholders in your organization.
CIOs can get a better idea about the pain points of different stakeholders and learn about different perspectives. Apart from board members, you also need to build trust with your IT team. Listen to their feedback and value their opinions. Take steps to remove all the hurdles so they can perform to their full potential. Delegate roles and empower your team members. This will send a clear message that you have trust in their ability. Set an example for your team members to follow as they will always look up to you for inspiration. Let’s say, you want to bring a change, start from yourself. When they see CIOs do what they say and start the change process from themselves, this will increase trust and loyalty and they will start following you with more conviction.
- Self Awareness
“I have learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”–Maya Angelou
When it comes to technology such as cheap dedicated server hosting and cheap dedicated server, the human element usually takes a back seat. IT leaders and teams are so focused on technical skills that they even forget about soft skills. Self awareness is one soft skill that can determine your success and failure as an IT leader. Instead of looking at your team as a whole, CIOs should be aware of the strengths and weaknesses of each individual in your IT team.
Understand the differences between each individual and cater to the cultural shifts. Allow newcomers to settle in and provide current team members growth opportunities to advance their careers. Nurture them to prepare future leaders and prepare them to take up new roles so they are ready to take on new challenges.
- Ability to Listen
Most IT leaders are so accustomed to talking and passing out orders that they forget to listen. Sadly, this is what leads to their downfall. If you want to succeed as an IT leader, you need to listen more and talk less. CIOs that practice active listening tend to do a much better job at problem solving.
When you listen to other viewpoints, it helps you see the situation from a whole new perspective that you might have ignored. This can be a great asset especially when it comes to strategic decision making. You can also benefit from the experience, knowledge and skills of others by allowing them to share their opinions openly.
- Time Management
With so much on the IT leader’s plate, it is important for them to prioritize tasks. They have to manage their time efficiently so they can get more done in less time. Start off by conducting an analysis of your daily routine and see where you spend your most time. Next, plan your day in advance, create a to-do list to stay on track.
Automate repetitive and mundane tasks or delegate tasks to others so you can focus on the most important tasks. Keep everything organized so that none of your time is wasted on finding data you need. Maximize your most productive hours and allocate the most difficult task for that time slot.
The pace at which the IT industry evolves these days forces IT leaders to be adaptable. They need to be flexible with their leadership styles and mindset as well as approaches and processes. This will allow them to respond to changes in a much better way. On the flip side, CIOs with rigid leadership styles and mindsets could not keep pace with changing times as they are slowly left behind the competition.
- Build Your Network
IT leaders cannot do everything alone. They need support from key stakeholders whether they are departmental heads or board members. You need to build a strong network of individuals who can support your digital initiatives at every step in order to get it passed by the board of directors. The better your relationships are with other functional unit heads, the easier it is for you to achieve your goals.
- Analytical Skills
As an IT leader, you will have to make crucial decisions that can make or break not only your IT department but can also impact your entire organization. That is why it is important to make the right decision at the right time. This would only be possible if you make decisions based on the data and insights. For that, you need to have analytics skills.
IT leaders should be able to make sense of huge data sets and extract useful insights and identify patterns. This could help them make decisions that are not only beneficial for their IT department but the organization as a whole.
Which skills do you think are most important for IT leaders to succeed in today’s competitive environment? Share your thoughts with us in the comments section below.
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